29 December 2020

Covid-19: South Africa moves back to an "adjusted" level 3 lockdown! [update]

update (30 December 2020): Click here to download the Government Gazette regarding the amended Disaster Management Act, 2002

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has addressed the nation on 28 December 2020 and has confirmed that South Africa returns to an adjusted level 3 lockdown. According to the President, this step has been taken by the Cabinet of South Africa on the recommendation of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCC), and after consultation with provinces and metro mayors. Several of the level 3 regulations are being strengthened to further limit the potential for transmission, while doing everything possible to keep the economy open. The new measures became effective at midnight on 28 December 2020.

Under the adjusted level 3 regulations:

  • Alcohol sales from retail outlets are not permitted
  • On-site consumption of alcohl is not permitted
  • No consumption of alcohol in public spaces, including parks and beaches
  • Extended curfew from 21:00 to 06:00
  • Apart from permitted workers, no person may be outside their place of residence during curfew
  • Non-essential establishments must close at 20:00
    • The following establishments must close at 20:00: cinemas; theatres; casinos; museums; galleries and archives; gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions; venues hosting professional sport.
  • The following businesses and venues are closed to the public: night clubs; swimming pools (except for professional training); bars; taverns and shebeens; public parks, including facilities there, where there is no access control; beaches, parks and dams in hotspot areas.
  • Every person must wear a mask in public
  • Drivers and operators of any form of public transport must ensure that all passengers wear a mask
  • The manager or owner of a building, place or premises (including a retail store) must ensure that all customers wear a mask
  • An employer must ensure that all employees wear a mask while they perform their duties
  • Every business premises must determine the maximum numer of staff and customers permitted at any one time while maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between people.
  • Health protocols must be observed at gatherings, including maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 metres between people.
  • All gatherings, including faith-based gatherings are prohibited for 14 days. This includes political and traditional council events.
  • Gatherings for the purposes of work are permitted, but need to follow strict social distancing measures.
  • Cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums, libraries, sporting grounds, restaurants and auctions are allowed to continue operating, but are limited to 50 people or less indoors and 100 people or less outdoors, and are subject to the same strict social distancing measures.
  • At no point can the number of people exceed 50% of a venue’s capacity, if it is too small to take 50 people.
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts and resorts are allowed to take full capacity of available rooms for accommodation, with social distancing measures in place.
  • Supermarkets, shops, stores and pharmacies are limited only to 50% of floor space.
  • Bus and taxi services may not carry more than 70% capacity for long-distance travel (>200km), and may carry 100% capacity for any other trip.
  • Sport events, both professional and non-professional are allowed, but must follow the new regulations which include:
    • No spectators are allowed to attend matches
    • Only the required number of players, match officials and support staff are allowed
    • Journalists, TV crews, security personnel, emergency services and venue employees are allowed at the venue
    • International events may only be held with teams from low or medium risk countries
    • Any other directions issued by the sport or health minister

The Level 3 restrictions will remain in place until 15 January 2021. These measures will be reviewed at that time on the basis of the state of the pandemic in South Africa.

Following a review of the latest available data on infections and hospitalisations, and consultations with affected provinces, South Africa's Cabinet has decided that the following further areas be declared coronavirus hotspots:

  • In the Eastern Cape: Chris Hani District, Buffalo City, Amathole District, Alfred Nzo District and the OR Tambo District. These are in addition to Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and the Sarah Baartman District.
  • In KwaZulu-Natal: eThekwini, Umgungundlovu District, Ugu District, Harry Gwala District, King Cetshwayo District and Ilembe District.
  • In Gauteng: West Rand District, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg
  • In the Western Cape: West Coast District, Overberg District, Winelands District, Cape Town, Central Karoo District. This is in addition to the Garden Route District.
  • In the North West: Bojanala District
  • In Limpopo: Waterberg District and the Capricorn District 

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